The Paul R. Villard and Gabriel Wolf Chair
The seventh of eight children growing up in a house full of art, music, books, and bicycles in Iowa, Rachel Niketopoulos began playing the horn at age 11. She studied music at the Universities of Iowa and Missouri (Kansas City). As a college student, Rachel spent her summers at the Music Academy of the West, the Sarasota Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival. She also toured Europe with the North Carolina School of the Arts Orchestra and the New World Symphony (where she met her future husband). After seven seasons with the Virginia Symphony and Opera, she joined the North Carolina Symphony in 2005. She loves performing with the North Carolina Symphony Wind Quintet, especially when they play for children in classrooms across North Carolina.
Trained at the Alexander Alliance in Philadelphia, she has been a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique for 15 years. She maintains a busy schedule of private lessons and gives workshops for musicians all over North Carolina, including at the UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and UNC-Greensboro. She works with yoga students at Global Breath Yoga in Durham, teaching Alexander Technique and Anatomy. She volunteers with the Jobstart program in Raleigh, where she teaches yoga and mindfulness to 10 women inmates every week.
She married her horn section colleague Christopher Caudill at the Outer Banks, and they love living in Raleigh. As a duo, they have performed on both Baroque and Classical natural horns with North Carolina Baroque, Brussels Chamber Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire (Cleveland Baroque Orchestra), and Atlanta Baroque.
Together Niketopoulos and Caudill have rescued two extremely sweet girl dogs and more than a few cute cats.